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Hawaii State Seal
Great Seal of the State of Hawaii
Adopted in 1959.
The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii was designated officially by Act 272 of the 1959 Territorial Legislature and is based on the territorial seal. Modifications to the territorial seal included the use of the words "State of Hawaii" at the top and "1959" within the circle. Provisions for a seal for the state of Hawaii was enacted by the Territorial Legislator and approved by Governor William F. Quinn on June 8, 1959. The passage of the Admission Act in 1959, admitted Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America on August 21, 1959.
The regal crown was replaced by the sun and the year 1959, which was when Hawaii officially became a state. The star in the center of the shield replaced canoe paddles crossed against a sail. The seal was originally designed by Viggo Jacobsen for the then-Republic of Hawaii in 1895. The seal is a modified version of the royal coat of arms of the Hawaiian kingdom. Where the royal seal had two warriors, the state seal has King Kamehameha the Great on one side and the Goddess of Liberty on the other holding the Hawaiian flag.
The Phoenix below the shield is new. In other places, emblems or royalty were replaced by emblems symbolic of a new Hawaii.
Hawaii Great Seal
The seal of the state of Hawaii hangs from the mauka and makai entrances to the state capitol, and is patterned after the royal coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii. From the March/April 1979 issue of Aloha Magazine*, the symbolism of the seal is described:
Seal of the Territory of Hawai'i 1901
The seal of the Territory of Hawai'i was the same as the seal of the republic, except that it had "Territory of Hawaii" placed at the top and "1900" (signifying the year that the territorial government officially was organized) within the circle. The 1901 Territorial Legislature authorized the modified republic seal as the Seal of the Territory of Hawaii.
Seal of the Republic of Hawai'i 1845
The seal of the Republic of Hawai'i had the words "Republic of Hawaii" at the top and "MDCCCXCIV" within the circle. The year 1894 signified the date that the republic was established. The republic seal was designed by Viggo Jacobsen, a Honolulu resident, and itself was derived from the Kingdom of Hawai'i coat of arms used during the reign of King Kamehameha III, King Kalākaua and Queen Lili'uokalani, which had been designed by the College of Arms in London in 1842 and officially adopted in 1845
Hawai`i Revised Statutes
Hawai`i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-5.
In days when communications were transcribed by hand and tediously undertaken, seals served to authenticate official government documents. In this day of computers and instant communications, seals still serve the same purpose.